Here is the dilemma. I am using Windows and do not want to change the system UI to Japanese (which is more difficult to read than English), but I want to read Japanese search results.

The problem is, that Google seems to prioritise Chinese characters over Japanese characters. That is:

  • If it is a Japanese version of Google, Google treats Chinese characters (or Kanji) as Japanese characters
  • But if it is an English version of Google, Google treats Chinese characters mixed in the Japanese text as Chinese, even though it is used in Japanese text.

See the example below.

I have searched Google for ねこ. In the English version of Google, the Chinese letters look ugly. They may look similar but if you look closely, the 視 in 視覚 is not the Japanese form. Is there any parameter or settings to tell Google prioritise Japanese? I do not understand Chinese, so it does not matter if they display Chinese text using Japanese form of Chinese letters.


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migrated from superuser.com Jan 14 '18 at 9:15

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  • What OS are you on? So basically, the characters used are off based one what language site version of Google you are using, correct? – JakeGould Jan 14 '18 at 5:29
  • You could try changing your system locale, if that is an option for your OS. Mine is set to Japanese and I can't reproduce your issue, so it might do the job. – Chris Jan 14 '18 at 5:30
  • FWIW, I am on macOS High Sierra and using Safari, Chrome and Firefox all show the correct “視覚” character set when I do a search for “ねこ.” I wonder if this is a browser specific thing for Windows (which I assume you are using) or just a Windows specific thing. – JakeGould Jan 14 '18 at 5:33
  • Sorry for a 3rd comment, but I kinda get obsessed with character encoding stuff and I wonder if this is a browser character encoding issue as explained here for an older Chrome bug that affected Korean language text rendering? – JakeGould Jan 14 '18 at 5:46
  • Windows. I would like to avoid changing the system locale from English to Japanese as it may cause other problems. To be specific, the problems are two: (1)ugly font (possibly using Chinese fonts), and (2)wrong type of Chinese letters (Chinese type instead of Japanese type). At least (2) did not happen on Edge, Opera, and FireFox. But they still have (1). – Damn Vegetables Jan 14 '18 at 11:13

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